Lifetime Achievement:  Nick Schwebach from Dell Rapids/Wakonda

Lifetime Achievement—Nick Schwebach

 Nick Schwebach, born December 14, 1949, was raised in a musical family in Dell Rapids. His mother was an excellent singer and pianist. Nick’s early interest in music was piqued by the Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul, and Mary. His first guitar was a steel-stringed Stella, which made his fingers bleed while playing Ventures tunes. The Beatles revolution awakened Nick to rock and roll. While in a full-length cast for an entire year, he spent countless hours with his guitar.

Nick helped form a band called Bods IV. He played guitar as did Perry Edenburn, Mark Aspaas played bass, and Randy Ostraat drummed. They played for many high school functions, even sponsoring their own dances at the Dell Rapids VFW, charging 50 cents admission. Bods IV played the Stones, Shadows of Knight, Beatles, and others.

While attending the University of South Dakota, Nick, Comet Haraldson, Brian Brosz, Barry LeBeau, and John Reimer played at Leo’s Lounge in Vermillion many weekends. They also loved performing at Robbie’s in Yankton. Nick graduated in 1972 with majors in English and history.

Following graduation, Nick joined Larry and the Up’nComings and played six nights a week at Harry’s Happy Hour in Sioux Falls. Many nights the band would play at two different venues. This gig lasted a year, or in Nick’s words, “until I had enough many to buy a good guitar.” His Les Paul Deluxe was lost in a fire in 1983.

Nick went on the road with Haraldson and Comet’s brother, Steve. They played as Dakota Morning for several years, mostly in ski areas such as Vail and Jackson Hole. Roger Hainje called the band Max Forbush and the Braided Nose Hairs.

The Totally Amazing Bitzko Band and Poker Alice both featured Schwebach’s guitar and vocal skills. He often teamed up with fiddle player Owen DeJong. They both studied under fiddle legend Chet Olson from Vermillion. Other influences include Barry Hertz and Willard Lindstrom.

Nick’s trademark eye patch resulted from a fireworks mishap with a Coke bottle as a seven-year-old. He has seen more than most musicians, making fine music wherever he goes.

The South Dakota Rock and Roll Music Association is proud to induct Nick Schwebach with the Lifetime Achievement Award.


2017Lifetime Achievement Award